Ubisoft Exec Says Physical Game Sales May Decline, But Never Go Away


As digital media continues to grow, Ubisoft seems to see physical games as a “collector edition market” going forward. Chris Early, a senior vice president at the company behind Assassin’s Creed, offered his viewpoint on boxed copies and actual discs, adding that he doesn’t think they will ever disappear.

Early was instrumental in bringing Call of Duty games to Ubisoft+ as part of Microsoft officially acquiring Activision Blizzard, per Ubisoft’s website. While discussing Activision games coming to the streaming service, the executive for strategic partnerships and business development discussed the future of physical media.

“There’s a collector edition market,” Early said. “There’s the aspect of gifting physical items and allowing access for people to be able to easily purchase a game in a store and gift them to their friends or family. Some people will always want to own the physical disc. I just don’t think it’s going away. Do I think physical sales might get lower over time? Sure, but will it ever completely go away? I don’t think so.”

Ubisoft recently released an Assassin’s Creed Mirage Collector’s Case, featuring a Basim statue and Baghdad map. Earlier this week, Assassin’s Creed Mirage was also announced as Ubisoft’s best-selling PS5 and Xbox Series X|S game at launch so far. Looking ahead, the company will also offer an Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora Collector’s Edition, which comes with a Na’vi statue and artbook. So Ubisoft is clearly putting money where its mouth is to back up Early’s statements.

The streaming service Ubisoft+ became available on Xbox in April, but it does require an $18 monthly Multi Access subscription. It is not included in Game Pass Ultimate like EA Play.